Metro Bank’s Hill Compares U.K. Lender to Apple in Deposit Push

Jul 23, 2014 5:54 am ET

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Metro Bank Plc Chairman Vernon Hill compared his banks’s focus on innovation to what Apple Inc. achieved in the technology industry, as it looks to take on Britain’s biggest lenders.

‘We all read about how Apple had three or four percent of the market share,’’ Hill, 68, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “They innovated their way out. Metro Bank in lots of ways is that.”

Metro Bank’s deposits more than doubled to 2 billion pounds ($3.4 billion) in the second-quarter from the year earlier period, the London-based lender said in an e-mailed statement. Loans grew 216 percent to 1.2 billion pounds in the three months to June 30. The figures are fractions of the 1.7 trillion pounds of deposits held by all U.K. banks and 1.8 trillion pounds of loans.

Metro Bank is trying to lure customers away from the U.K.’s four biggest lenders by keeping its 27 branches open seven days a week with longer hours than competitors. It’s among a group of banks, including Aldermore Bank Plc and OneSavings Bank Plc, looking to challenge Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s control of about 80 percent of the U.K. market for personal checking accounts.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has grown into the world’s largest technology company by market value after releasing popular products such as the iPad and iPhone.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority antitrust regulator said this month it would consider a full investigation into small-business lending and checking accounts. It comes as Britain’s lawmakers want to loosen the grip of the country’s four biggest banks.

“The more choice the consumer and business client has the better,” Hill said.